Sunday, May 24, 2009

Flying Solo

On Friday, I'll be taking my first all-by-myself plane trip. I am flying to Minneapolis to attend my childhood best friend's baby shower. I'm really excited, but a little anxious for the trip.

I've flown many times before- LA, Denver, Orlando, New York, Atlanta, Albuquerque, and many of these multiple times, but I've never taken a plane trip solo. I graduated and got my first teaching job this time last year. I've spent the year working and earning money for myself, but I really feel like this summer will cement my status in the adult world. This summer I am flying to Minnesota on my own, flying to Miami and going on a cruise by myself for work (I know, my life is hard!), and hopefully buying a house. YIKES responsibility alert!

(It's been my plan for a while to try and buy a house this summer, and we'll see how that goes. Now that I'm more in tune with financial realities, I'm unsure of what kind of loan I'll be able to get, but keep your fingers and toes crossed for me).

Buying a house is a BIG deal, but really I'm feeling more anxious about going on these trips on my own. I have the world's WORST sense of direction and I'm nervous about finding my way in the airports and such. Also, I get car/airsick, so I don't know how I'll do on a boat. The bad part will be- who will take care of me if I do get sick? No mom, no friends, no boyfriend to take care of me in case I need them. I'll have to rely on myself and the kindness of strangers. AHHH!! LACK OF CONTROL!! Scary stuff.

This will be a big and busy summer for me. I'm taking my first (or maybe second or third but it's a significant one nonetheless) step toward adulthood independence with my trip to Minnesota this coming weekend. If I don't get lost or end up on the wrong flight, it'll be I can practically do Anything! Look out world! And also, look out person-who-has-to-sit-next-to-me-on-the-plane. I might just be having an anxiety attack.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Man oh man. The stress? I'm feeling it these days. We have two more weeks of school and LOTS to do in that short period of time. Also, we're now looking toward next year and it looks like it's going to be different. We will have a (much needed) new team leader, and she's looking to jumble us all around. My team this year may be a tad dysfunctional, but still, we look out for each other. None of us are happy about being moved without our consent/approval/whatnot. Just annoying. And I'm NOT a fan of change, so I currently am living in Anxiety City.

This is a three day weekend, but with so much left to do, I'm having trouble relaxing and enjoying it.

Oh, but I almost forgot. I teach third grade, as you know, and I like to attend some of my students' extracurricular events when I can. Last night, David had a ballroom dancing match. Yes, you read that correctly; my nine year old football-and-baseball-playing male student does BALLROOM DANCING. And boy, was it adorable. He and his little sister did the cha cha together, and then he did some dances with his instructor. It was the single cutest thing I have ever seen. You people with children: make your kids take ballroom dancing lessons. You will not be disappointed.

Okay, so this was a short, scattered post, but that's kind of how my mind is these days. Hopefully everything will settle down soon. In the meantime, I'm going to go read a book in a hot bath...sounds like the perfect antidote to a stressful few days!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


My first year as a teacher will conclude in three weeks. Three short weeks including a Monday off for Memorial Day, a Friday that I'll be in Minnesota for a friend's baby shower and a half day on the last day of school. I'm thrilled. And why shouldn't I be?

Well, sometimes I start panicking...have I prepared my students well enough? I will be the first to tell you that I did not have it all together like I wanted this year. Stations and guided reading were inconsistent. Writing could have been better. I could have done a few fun things in social studies that I never got to. All of my kids passed the state standardized reading test. They know their stuff, but I could have always done more.

I'm sure this is a "I'm a first-year teacher and I'm not so jaded yet" type of thing, but I'm already starting to miss my kids. Yes, they give me fits sometimes, but overall, they're awesome. How lucky am I that I got to be a big part of these little people's lives this year? I know their brothers, sisters, pets, hobbies, dreams, nightmares, favorite foods, best friends, and favorite colors. I have been very blessed to be able to know these little people and to help shape their lives. Come June 5th, they'll be gone and I won't be able to remind them to use an apostrophe if a word is possessive or how to politely ask for something they want. I'll have to trust that I have taught them and now they know.

I am a perfectionist and always think about how I could have done something better. I will always feel like I could have done more. I got to know and love forty third graders this year and I just pray that I have done right by my kids. I will try and enjoy these next few weeks because my kids don't get to be my kids for much longer.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I've written before about Mike and Heather's beautiful Maddie, who passed away unexpectedly a little over a month ago. Maddie was just 17 months old and was lost far too soon.

After her passing, teams for the upcoming March of Dimes March for Babies walks came up all over the country in honor of Maddie. Houston had a team organized by Greis. I quickly signed up, only to later discover that I had a prior commitment that I could not get out of - I was not going to be able to walk with the Houston Maddie Team.

I had already raised some money for the March of Dimes thanks to generous donations from friends, so I was determined to meet my goal. I may not have been able to March for Maddie downtown, but I wanted to support the March of Dimes. I decided I would go on my own walk in honor of Maddie.

That Sunday afternoon, after Greis, Natalie and the rest of the Houston team had finished their walk downtown, I set out on a three mile walk at my local park.

During my walk, I thought about and prayed for the Spohrs. I reflected on what I had learned from Heather, Mike and Maddie... I want to live each day fully, like Maddie did. During my walk, I saw many things that reminded me of the beautiful girl with the bright eyes. Purple, the March of Dimes color, and the color chosen by the Spohrs to honor Maddie, popped up in unexpected places.

(forgive the awful quality- it was taken with my iPhone)

I also spotted a rock in the shape of a heart, that reminded my reason for doing all of this: Heather and Mike's love for their girl, my love for Maddie and the Spohrs, and Maddie's love for life.

Man, it was hot in Houston that Sunday, but it meant a lot to me to walk to remember and honor Maddie. I had a good reason to get this hot and sweaty!

I'm a few weeks late posting this, but the sentiments remain the same. My heart aches for Heather and Mike's loss. My heart smiles with the memories of the little girl with the bright eyes.

Remembering Maddie. xoxo

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Miss you!

Oh, blog. I haven't had you very long, but alas, I am already neglecting you.

I will be writing more soon. It was on my to-do list today, but I didn't get to-do it. I was too busy writing lesson plans, shopping and catching up with some friends. BUT, on the bright side, this is my birthday week! My birthday is on Wednesday and it will be the first birthday of my life that I have to work. Fortunately, my "co-workers" are cute 9 year olds that are more excited about my birthday than I am!

I need to blog about my Walk for Maddie. About the discovery of new good friends at work. About the cool cactus in my yard (seriously). And soon, about life as a 23 year old.

Stay tuned, internet.